A study was carried out on 40 newborn rats to determine the effect of Gastrografin (a hyperosmolar solution, 1700 mosm/liter) on the gastrointestinal tract. All the newborns received an inoculum of Klebsiella bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract. Thirty received, in addition to maternal milk, a feeding of Gastrografin twice daily. The Gastrografin was found to cause severe and irreversible damage to the mucosa of the small intestine, causing the death of 24 rats less than a week after start of the experiment. The 10 rats who received no Gastrografin and served as controls showed no signs of disease or damage to the intestinal tract. Cultures taken from the peritoneal cavity after sacrifice were all positive for Klebsiella in the Gastrografin group (30 rats) and negative in the controls (10 rats). This study has therefore demonstrated that severe damage to the small intestine mucosa will lower the intestinal barrier and lead to transmural translocation of bacteria into the peritoneal cavity.
- mucosal damage